If there’s one aspect of digital marketing that changes faster than any other, it may be search engine optimization (SEO). While the goal of the search engines remains the same—to reward websites that provide content that searchers want and need—the rules they build into their algorithms seem to be in almost constant flux. So what do you need to know in 2018?
Anyone who has spent much time playing the game of search engine optimization (SEO) surely knows that it can be a difficult game to win, largely because the rules of the game keep changing. Certainly, the days of black-hat tactics and underhanded efforts to coerce your way to the top of Google search results are gone. Yet, virtually everyone we encounter is convinced that they NEED to be on page one–of course, they are not alone. Recent surveys show that increasing website traffic is one of the top priorities for most marketers these days which largely means improving search engine rankings. However, with over a BILLION websites out there and only 10 organic slots on any Google search results page, it is a mathematical impossibility for all of them to be on page one.
One of the core elements of inbound marketing is the thoughtful, constructive, and strategic use of keywords. Keywords are first and foremost the words or phrases that users enter into search engines when they are attempting to find information or a company's website they are interested in. Understanding keywords and how they are used is critically important to any inbound marketing effort. Because these words and expressions are a reflection of interest on the part of the searcher, they are also critical to search engines' logic, and must therefore be a critical element of the inbound marketer's strategy.
Developing a powerful and effective digital strategy is increasingly critical for marketers today. Your strategy should define the specific goal, or goals, you expect to achieve with your digital marketing efforts. The key word here is "specific" because you want to be able to measure your success against those goals, and without specificity, you won't know how you're doing. Your strategy should also outline the specific tools and tactics you are going to use to accomplish your goals.
For some marketers, deciding whether or not to start a blog is a difficult decision. Let's face it... it's a lot of work if you're going to do it right. You need to have something compelling to say that will capture and keep the interest of your audience. And you need to be consistent, continuing to create compelling content even when you don't feel like it and even when you aren't sure what to write about. Plus, you need to promote the blog in order to build an audience. For some marketers, it's simply a matter of not being sure that the return on investment is worth it for all the time and effort they will have to put into it. Right? So for all of the marketers that have been fending off the pressure to start blogging, I'll offer up five solid reasons you can use to defend your decision to never blog.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a great way to increase traffic to your website without spending oodles of money on Pay-Per-Click advertising. When working on SEO, companies rightfully invest a great deal of time in analyzing their offering and their market to determine the keywords that should be used on their website to attract prospects.
Generating qualified sales leads can be one of the most challenging jobs of any sales or executive team, and almost always the most important. Historically, filling the sales funnel required either a lot of cold-calling, or a lot of dollars spent on advertising, i.e. outbound marketing. That doesn't have to be the case today, as so much has changed with the way consumers buy. Today, with inbound marketing and content marketing, you can see a great return on investment, as inbound leads cost dramatically less than outbound leads. Here are eleven ideas on how to generate more leads with inbound marketing:
Author of The Content Code and overall marketing guru, Mark Schaefer, has written hundreds of pages on the art of standing out in a saturated niche and the secret sauce it takes to create shareable content. If you choose to stick with his latest and greatest book to the very, very end, you'll be rewarded with what could be said is the most important lesson of all. Lucky for you, we already did the hard part.
In order to be effective at content marketing, you must produce a continuous stream of high-quality materials. While implementing and maintaining a content marketing program is certainly worth the effort, there is no ignoring that it is a significant effort. Consequently, you may be tempted to look for ways to streamline the content creation process—or stated another way, to cut corners. But there are many reasons you need to resist that temptation.
The year is 2005. Mike, a marketing manager, is sitting at a conference table with some of his coworkers listening to a marketing agency talk about the recent website overhaul that has been completed for his company. When the conversation turns to maintaining the website, the agency rep looks to Mike about whether the company will want to implement a content management system (CMS) to help the marketing team keep the web pages updated—at a rather significant cost. Mike shoots a quick glance to Sara, his boss, and she gives a subtle shake of the head. “No thanks, we’ve got it,” he says.
Google continually updates the algorithms it uses to evaluate websites and determine their rank for organic search results. Other search engines do the same. But regardless of how the algorithms evolve, one characteristic that seems to always be given a high value in the calculating of a site’s "popularity" and “authority” is the number of links to it from other sites. While “linkbaiting” has, at times, had negative connotations due to the underhanded strategies employed by some companies, it is nevertheless an important aspect of SEO if you do it properly.
Blogging can produce a whole host of benefits for a company. It’s a tremendous way to score points with Google, from the keywords in your posts to the simple fact that your website is frequently updated. A blog is also one of the best forums for sharing your cutting-edge ideas and establishing yourself as a thought leader. What’s more, if you allow your audience to comment on your posts, that’s a great opportunity to engage with them.
Perhaps more than any other type of marketing or advertising, content marketing invites comparison. “Did you see that case study that our competitor just put out? Powerful stuff. We definitely need to produce something like that!”
Or at least, not necessarily. Creating a visually-appealing, easy-to-navigate website should be the goal of every organization that has a web presence. However, stopping at that point and waiting for the visitors to come flooding in will likely leave you disappointed and frustrated.
It’s taking a lot of time and energy, we’re running out of things to say, and what’s the point anyway? We’ve been doing it for months, and nobody is signing up. I’m not even sure anyone is reading it. So, we might as well face it, the blog is dead.
While I used to be one of those hunt-and-peck kind of guys at the keyboard, my typing has improved dramatically over the years. But even at my new near-lightning speed, with both hands flying, I couldn’t seem to find our 30dps website in a recent Google search using every imaginable combination of “Colorado Springs custom app developers.” And it didn’t matter how many pages deep I went. While we have long fared pretty well with search engine optimization (SEO) on our primary keywords, we just didn’t do nearly as well on the custom app side. The good news is that we’ve made tremendous progress since that search. We’re currently at the bottom of page one (one of our case studies) and the top of page two (our website), and rising fast.